With the best race meeting in the world only two weeks away I thought now was the time to have a look at the early closing races. We have three races to evaluate on day one of the festival which starts on the Tuesday. Here are my Royal Ascot day one ante-post horse racing tips. We’ll kick off with the Queen Anne Stakes, a Group 1 contest run over the straight mile.
Appleby Not Playing with Modern Games
Charlie Appleby’s Modern Games looks the most likeliest winner here having won all around the world including when an impressive winner of the Lockinge at Newbury last month. He’s the highest rated in the field and will most likely have the most to fear from the John & Thady Gosden-trained Inspiral.
She’s yet to see a racecourse this season but was a smart filly last year in her classic term winning Group 1s at Royal Ascot (Coronation Stakes on the round mile course) and Deauville. She’s won the first time up the last two seasons so you wouldn’t expect her to be too inconvenienced by a break. She looks like a major player in the Queen Anne Stakes Odds.
William Haggas has his smart Maljoom entered who we haven’t seen since running a close 4th in the St James Palace at the meeting last year. He’s only 6lb officially behind Modern Games and if straight enough could be interesting as this will only be his 5th ever start.
The race appears to revolve around the front two with Modern Games who is a very likeable colt who is finally getting the recognition he deserves and is the one to be with at this stage.
MODERN GAMES 1 point win @ 9/4 with Bet365 bonus code
Kings Stand Coronation for Highland Princess?
The 5F Ascot Kings Stand Stakes is a Group 1 contest which attracts runners from all over the world and in the last ten years has been won by Ireland (twice), Britain (6 times), USA and Australia.
This year’s foreign contingent includes runners from Australia and America and a formidable home team.
Highfield Princess may turn out to be the best of the British as a triple Group one winner last season and made an excellent return to the races when runner up under a penalty at York’s Dante meeting. She’s as tough as they come and whoever beats her will know they’ve been in a race.
Karl Burke’s three-year-old Dramatised impressed when winning the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock last month on her re-appearance and is bidding to become the first three-year-old to win this race since Wesley Ward’s American speedster Lady Aurelia blitzed the field back in 2017. The draw was mightily important that day at Haydock mind and I’m not too sure whether the form flatters her.
The best of the Australians may well be the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Coolangatta who was last seen winning one of the big sprints down under the Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington in February. She looks smart and although it’s tough to assess the Australian form has to be given the utmost respect.
Wesley Ward can always be expected to produce a very speedy horse or two and his representative this season is Love Reigns, a winner at Keeneland in April.
As it seems nowadays this Royal Ascot race has a big international feel and the best of the home contingent is the John Quinn-trained Highfield Princess.
HIGHFIELD PRINCESS 1 point win @ 10/3 with Bet365
All Aboard the Paddington Train
The St James Palace Stakes is a Group 1 contest for three-year-old colts and is run on the round mile.
This year we have one of the biggest matchups of the meeting with English 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean taking on the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Paddington.
Chaldean is officially rated just a 3lb superior horse than his Irish rival having given Frankie Dettori a winning ride in his last year when battling well to beat Hi Royal 1 3/4L at Newmarket last month and this tough Frankel colt must have every chance.
Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington has steadily improved this season having started his campaign by winning a handicap at Naas under top weight progressing to a 2L victory over stable companion Cairo in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the end of May. There is a tentative form link between the big two as Hi Royal was beaten a length more by the Irish challenger and he may have the call between the pair.
Charlie Hills has a highly promising colt in the shape of Cicero’s Gift who’s unbeaten in three starts and looked useful when running away with a class 2 conditions stakes contest at Goodwood races last time. However, this is a big step up and on official ratings has 27lb to find with the top-rated Chaldean.
John and Thady Gosden have the improved Shadwell colt Mostabshir entered and he proved his first start of the season was all wrong when bolting up at York’s Dante meeting. He also steps up here but doesn’t need to improve that much to take a hand in the finish.
As always an intriguing race but at present the bet for me has to be Paddington.
PADDINGTON 1 point win @ 10/3 with Bet365
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